I was asked this question by a staff member last week and wanted to share my thoughts:
- I don't see any harm in students reading posts from any "hashtag discussions", such as #edchat, #cpchat, #atplc, etc. Aren't we conducting these conversations to grow professionally with the ultimate goal of improving as a school leader?
- I manage two Twitter accounts: @CSmithGoBlue, which is "Craig Smith", and @AshbrookHS, which is the account for my school. This allows me to distinguish if something tweet-worthy is "coming directly from the school" or "directly from me". I will admit, this is difficult at times. On occasion, I will re-tweet a @CSmithGoBlue tweet using @AshbrookHS, to keep the two separated. It sounds like a pain, but it does indeed help.
- Students see educators as role models within the school. Today's 21st-century students needs to see responsible leaders with social media, as well.
- Twitter is such an easy way to promote positive news. For example, we have a very spirited student section (aka "The Zoo Crew") and I was extremely proud of how they conducted themselves over the past few games. I tweeted this after a basketball game two weeks ago and, as a result, the tweet began circulating among the student body. It was a simple token of appreciation for the students acting responsibly.
- I don't follow back. PLAIN AND SIMPLE. Maybe after a student graduates. Maybe, since...
- It is a simple way to keep in touch with alumni, especially my former athletes. BUT NOT CURRENT STUDENTS.
- I understand and completely agree that educators need their "lives away from school." So, I don't tweet my life away from school.
- The majority of my non-educational related Tweets are sports related. I am not too worried if students see that I believe Michigan needs a big conference road win.
- I am going to be sending this Blog Post out via Twitter. I am hoping a few students read it.
Finally, the popular mantra regarding social media is to "never post anything you wouldn't want your grandma to see." At a public forum, I once heard a Detective say, "You shouldn't have anything on Social Media that you wouldn't want to see on the front page of The Charlotte Observer." I prefer to use the mentality of "never tweet something you wouldn't want the entire student body to see".
Thanks for reading and follow me via Twitter @CSmithGoBlue!
The opinions shared in this blog belong to Craig Smith and do not represent the school or district in which he works.